As the days slip by in December, the stress involved with end-of-the-year celebration planning mounts. With time running short and the errand list getting longer, it becomes all too easy to fall off the health bandwagon. Gone is the time for picking up fresh veggies at the market, and preparing and enjoying a leisurely meal at home. 'Tis the season for fast food munching while on the run!
If this story sounds familiar, remember: You are not alone. But as you put together your battle plan for tackling the holiday "to do" list, you can also be proactive on your health during this hectic time of the year.
Food on the Go
If you find that you're doing more meals in your car than at the table, take charge of the situation. Keep a bag of healthy snacks in your car - nuts, seeds, bananas, apples, and granola bars. If you have a healthy nibble while on the road, it will keep you from getting the "munchies" and pulling into whatever close fast food drive-thru you see. If you find yourself in that line, think smart: Opt for salads with low-cal dressing and leaner meats like chicken or turkey. Steer clear of a diet of French fries and onion rings, and skip the soda - water will keep you hydrated and clear-headed for tackling those errands!
Exercise Still Matters
OK, so you're taking a break from the gym as you roam the stores, but remember: You still need some exercise. Empower yourself - you can take advantage of the situation! Make the mindful decision when doing errands to park a little further away instead of driving all around the parking lot to find the closest spot, make your steps do more by walking briskly whenever you can, and when possible use the stairs instead of an elevator - all this walking is good for you! And when you do finally collapse on your couch at night, a few leg lifts and a couple stretches will do wonders.
Don't Forget to Sleep
Running around to get everything done can put a crunch into your shut-eye time, so make that nightly appointment with your pillow and keep it. No matter what's left on your list, make sure you get a good night's sleep. That includes turning OFF all your devices -TV, cell phones, tablets - so you have a restful spot with no blue light to disturb you. Getting a full 7-8 hours a night will do wonders for your body and mind, and you'll start the next day off fresh.
Time to Reboot
Remember, when the holiday madness is over, you can reboot your routine. The shorter days in January are a perfect time to make hearty and healthy soups and stews, using lots of root vegetables for optimum nutrition. With February right around the corner, women can look forward to that special day of "me" time: the Deborah Women's Health EXPO on Feb. 9! Timed in conjunction with kicking off National Heart Month and also Wear Red Day, women are invited to the Fountain of Life Center on Columbus Road in Burlington, N.J., for a Saturday of health screenings, pampering, massages, workouts, and shopping from many health and wellness vendors. It is the perfect opportunity to shake off those post-holiday winter blues, and re-center back onto the path of wellness!